For Parents: Camp Prep Tips

Parents and grandparents: Enjoy this fun two-part video on preparing for summer camp!  Written by a camp parent for new camp parents.

A quick review of the most important prep tips:

1. Don’t make a “pick-up deal.”
Promising “If you feel homesick, I’ll come and get you” undermines children’s confidence and dramatically intensifies homesickness.  Instead, normalize their anxiety, talk positively about camp, and view The Secret Ingredients of Summer Camp Success. This DVD/CD set for new camper families lowers the intensity of first-year campers’ homesickness by 50%, on average.

2. Double-check the camp’s packing list.
Many seasons of experience have helped your child’s camp directors refine the packing list to include all the essentials. So, if it says “stick bug repellant,” don’t buy spray. If it says “no electronics,” then leave the Nintendo DS, PSP, iPod and cell phone at home.

3. Spend practice time away from home.
Nothing builds confidence and teaches a child how to cope with time away from home better than…(you guessed it)…time away from home. That weekend at your folks’ house will do wonders for their adjustment. Remember: No phone calls. This is the time to practice writing letters!

4. Label everything.
It’s easy to lose things at camp, but if you want it back, it’s got to have your name on it. Label everything from your t-shirts to your tennis racket to your toothbrush. And leave really expensive gear at home. Most children lose something at camp, so check the lost-and-found on closing day.

5. Double-check the opening and closing dates and times.  Start camp off on a smooth note by arriving on time and on the right day. Use a wall calendar in the months prior to opening day to make an exciting count-down to the big day.

Want to learn more?
Order The Secret Ingredients of Summer Camp Success now.